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World War I: Causes of WWI US History Honors
Underlying Causes • Rival Alliances Created a “False Sense of Security” • Triple Entente • Great Britain: King George V • France: Premier Clemenceau • Russia: Czar Nicholas II • Triple Alliance • Germany: Kaiser Wilhelm I • Austria-Hungary: Emanuel II
What Caused World War I • Unrest in the Balkans • Bosnians felt abused under the rule of Austria-Hungary • Goal: to create a “Greater Serbia” (unite Slavic people) • This movement was strongly supported by “Mother Russia”
What Caused World War I • June 28, 1914 • Archduke Franz Ferdinand (Austria’s heir to the throne) was assassinated by a Bosnian Serb Nationalist while on a good will trip to Sarajevo, Bosnia. THIS SPARK WOULD IGNITE THE WAR.
What Caused World War I • Alliances Unfolded • • • Austria declared war on Serbia Russia supported Serbia (mother country with ethnic ties) Germany sided with Austria and declared war on Russia France was obligated to help Russia & Great Britain to help France By August 5, 1914, Europe was engulfed in WAR!!!
What Caused World War I • Germany’s “Schlieffen Plan” to avoid a 2 front war failed • • Front: zone of conflict between armies Western Front would mostly be in France Area between armies was known as “No Man’s Land” Fighting two fronts puts a giant strain on resources and man power
The Fighting Sides • Triple Alliance becomes “The Central Powers” (the Bad Guys) • Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria • Italy gave up its defensive agreement with Germany and joined the other side • Triple Entente becomes “The Allied Powers” (the Good Guys) • Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy • United States would join in April of 1917 • Eventually over 50 nations were involved in “The Great War”
World War I: Events Prior to US Entry US History Honors
Events Prior to United States Entry • United States Position: Neutrality • President Wilson encouraged neutrality in “thought and action” • Neutrality Problems for the United States • US traded with both sides, but ties with Great Britain were strongest • Common language, customs, and government • By 1917, US loans to the Allies reached $2. 3 billion
Events Prior to United States Entry • Great Britain spread anti-German propaganda to the US • Great Britain blockaded Europe, stopping our trade with Germany (famine)
Anti German Propaganda
Events Prior to United States Entry • Germany began submarine warfare (violated “freedom of seas”) • Attacked ships in Allied ports • Declared a “war zone” around the British Isles
German U-Boat (Submarine)
Events Prior to United States Entry • Sinking of the Lusitania (May 7, 1915) • US and German relations worsen • Germany questioned US neutrality and ship’s cargo • Ship was loaded with contraband purchased from the US • President Wilson demanded in a letter of protest that Germany end submarine warfare, and apologize and pay reparations to the families
Events Prior to United States Entry • March 1916: The French ship Sussex was sunk with Americans on board. Germany agreed to the “Sussex Pledge” a promise to warn ships before sinking them.
Events Prior to United States Entry • Election of 1916 • (D) Woodrow Wilson: Dove and (R) Charles Hughes: Hawk • Both campaigned for peace and neutrality • TR may have hurt (R) chances for victory with pro-war speeches • Cliff hanger: Wilson won by 20 electoral votes (CA decided the outcome) • Message: Did the citizens of the US want to go to war despite Wilson? ? ?
Events to United States Entry • By 1916, the War in Europe became stalemated on both fronts • Western Front = 500 miles of trenches extending from the English Channel to the Adriatic Sea (defended by France and Great Britain) • Eastern Front = line defended by Russia • Little progress & high casualties led to frustration on both sides
Events Prior to United States Entry • Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare to break the deadlock • stopped issuing warnings; 3 US ships were sunk in one day • Kaiser felt confident the US would not enter the war • US responded by ending diplomatic relations with Germany
Events Prior to United States Entry • Zimmermann Note (last straw) published on March 1, 1917 • Letter from Germany to Mexico asking for an alliance against the US • Intercepted and decoded by Great Britain • Pro-war fever intensified in the US; TR demanded we enter in the name of selfdefense. Soon after, 4 more unarmed US ships were sunk • March 1917, Russia surrendered to Germany
Events Prior to United States Entry • Wilson asked Congress for a Declaration of War on April 2, 1917 • Enemy: German Government, not the German people • Wilson: “America must go to war to make the world safe for Democracy” • Congress declared war on April 6, 1917
Events Prior to United States Entry • The Allies were weakened in 1917 • March 1917: a Russian peoples’ revolt overthrew Czar Nicholas II and a provisional government was set up • November 1917: weak Russian provisional government was overthrown by the Bolsheviks led by Nikolai Lenin, eventually resulting in a communist government • December 1917: Russia agreed to an armistice on the Eastern Front and withdrew, leaving Germany to fight a ONE front war (all Germany’s forces could now be sent to the Western Front)
United States Enters World War I • June 1917: first US troops arrive in Europe • AEF = American Expeditionary Forces were led by General John Pershing • By 1918, 2 million US “Doughboys” were in France • Wilson began plans for permanent peace based on his 14 Points
African Americans in the War • Went on idea of diplomacy • Continued to experience segregation • Only American troops to serve under French
General John Pershing
World War I: The Fighting Ends US History Honors
The German War Machine • Germany faced troubles in 1918 • A home front revolution forced the Kaiser into exile • Shortage of soldiers (Iron Youth was gone); munity in Navy • US entry proved to be too much for them (fresh troops & morale)
Armistice • November 1918, Germany asked for an armistice • November 11, 1918 – fighting stopped (Armistice Day) • The Allied Powers had won the Great War • Allied blockade of German ports continued until the treaty was signed
Peace Conference at Versailles
Peace Conference - Versailles • Peace Conference – Versailles, France (January 1919) • Major Participants (The Big Four) • • Prime Minister David Lloyd George of Great Britain: sought $$$ Premier Georges Clemenceau of France: sought revenge Vittorio Orlando of Italy: sought land promised to them earlier President Wilson of the US: sought Peace without Victory • What resulted was dictated peace – Germany was not allowed inside, but hoped the peace would be based on Wilson’s plan
Treaty of Versailles • The Treaty of Versailles (June 28, 1919) product of compromise • New independent nations were formed in Europe • Empires were destroyed and ethnic groups were united • A League of Nations was formed to maintain peace and prevent future world wars (Wilson’s 14 th Point) • Germany was blamed & punished for WWI (war guilt clause) • Asked to pay huge reparations ($33 billion) • Forced to give up large amounts of land • Massive disarmament left them with only a defensive army
Treaty of Versailles Rejected in the United States • The Treaty was REJECTED at home, despite Wilson’s efforts • • Many feared the “League” was just another alliance The US never joined; rejected by the US Senate in 1920 Most Americans desired isolationism The US made a separate peace treaty with Germany in 1921
Result of the Treaty of Versailles • The Treaty of Versailles planted the seeds of German bitterness after WWI that allowed for Adolf Hitler to rise to power and begin World War II